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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2002

HMS EXMOUTH (H 02) -  E-class Flotilla Leader including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Exmouth (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge)

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Flotilla Leader for E-Class Fleet destroyers ordered on 1st November 1932 under the 1931 Build Programme from HM Dockyard, Portsmouth with propulsion machinery provided by Fairfield at Govan, Glasgow. The ship was laid down in No 8 Dry dock on 15th May 1933 and floated out on 30th January 1934, prior to a formal naming ceremony the next day. She was the third major RN warship to carry the name, introduced in 1854 for a 2nd Rate screw ship later used as a training ship until sold in 1905. It was last borne by a battleship launched in 1901 and scrapped in 1920. This name commemorates the name of Viscount Exmouth formerly Admiral Edward Pellew. Three other ships, two of which were vessels hired during WW1 also carried this name. Build of this Flotilla Leader was completed on 9th November 1934.

 

B a t t l e H o n o u r s

 

BALTIC 1854-55 - BELGIAN COAST 1914 - DARDANELLES 1915 - ATLANTIC 1939

 

H e r a l d i c D a t a

Badge: On a Field Red, a lion passant Gold.

 

M o t t o:

Deo Adjuvante: 'By Gods help'

 

Manning Division: Portsmouth

 

 

D e t a i l s o f P r e - W a r   S e r v i c e

 

1 9 3 4

 

November              Contractors trials

                9th          Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials

                11th        Commissioned for service as Leader of 5th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet

                                (Note: Other destroyers of Flotilla ships were:

                                HM Destroyers ESCAPADE, ECLIPSE, ECHO, ENCOUNTER,

                                ELECTRA, ESCORT, EXPRESS and ESK.)

 

December              On completion of storing and work-up joined ships of Flotilla in Home Fleet.

 

1 9 3 5

 

January                  Deployed for Flotilla duties in Home Fleet including Spring cruise exercise programme.

to July                    Nominated for service in Mediterranean after outbreak of war between Italy and

                                Abyssinia.

 

August                  Passage to Mediterranean for detached service with Flotilla in Mediterranean Fleet.

 

September             Deployed with Flotilla in Mediterranean and took part in Fleet and Flotilla exercises.

to September

 

October

                4th          Taken in hand for refit at Alexandria.

 

November              Under refit

to December

 

1 9 3 6

 

January                  Post refit harbour trials

                5th          Refit completion and commenced sea trials.

                                On completion resumed duty as Leader of Flotilla in Mediterranean Fleet.

 

February                Flotilla duties in Mediterranean in continuation.

 

March                    Detached service in Mediterranean terminated and took passage to return to Home Fleet

                                with ships of Flotilla.

 

April                       Resumed Home Fleet duties with Flotilla after Leave period

 

May                        Deployed with Flotilla in Home Fleet and took part in Fleet and Flotilla exercises.

to July

 

August                  Nominated for Non Intervention Patrol duties following outbreak of civil war in Spain.

 

September             Deployed for patrol off Spanish coast to prevent illegal transfer of goods to Spain by

to October             merchant shipping and for protection of British flagged ships.

                                (Note: The Flotilla Leader and other ships of Flotilla carried out this duty as arranged

                                by Captain (D) who was in command of this ship.)

 

November              Nominated for refit by HM Dockyard, Portsmouth and released from patrol duties.

                17th        Taken in hand for refit at Portsmouth.

 

December              Under refit

 

1 9 3 7

 

January

                19th        Resumed Home Fleet duties with Flotilla on completion of trials.

                                Nominated for patrol duty of Spanish coast.

 

February                Patrol duties with Flotilla in continuation

to March

 

April                       Released from patrol duties and resumed Home Fleet service in Home

                                waters.

May                        Prepared for attendance at Coronation Review.

                20th        Took part in Coronation Review by HM King George VI at Spithead.

 

June                        Deployed with Flotilla in Home waters for Home Fleet exercise and

to September         visits programme

 

October                  Detached for duty in Mediterranean for non-intervention patrols in the

to December          western Mediterranean.

 

1 9 3 8

 

January                  Mediterranean deployment in continuation.

 

February                Resumed Home Fleet duties with Flotilla

 

March                    Deployed in Home waters for Home Fleet exercises and visits.

to August

 

September             Prepared for war service during Munich emergency deployments of Home Fleet.

 

October                  Home waters deployment with Flotilla.

 

November

                21st         Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard, Portsmouth.

 

December              Under refit.

 

1 9 3 9

 

January

                16th        Carried out post refit trials on completion of dockyard work.

                                Passage to Mediterranean to resume Flotilla duties.

 

February                Deployed in Mediterranean.

to March                (Note: This period included the annual joint Fleet exercised with ships

                                of Home and Mediterranean Fleets and ship remained based at

                                Gibraltar on completion.)

 

May                        Resumed Flotilla duties in Home Fleet and took part in Fleet exercise

to July                    and visits programme.

 

April                       Nominated for reduction of complement and took passage to Portsmouth.

                28th        Complement reduced and ship transferred for training duties and local

                                flotilla duty based at Portsmouth.

 

May                        Deployed at Portsmouth.

to July                    (Note: Ship was still part of Home Fleet for overall administration in agreement

                                with CinC Portsmouth.)

                                War Station nominated as Leader of 12th Destroyer Flotilla, Home

                                Fleet.)

 

August

                2nd         Full complement re-established and ship prepared for war service as part

                                of Reserve Fleet Portsmouth.

                                Took up war station with Home Fleet and deployed for screening of major

                                warships.

 

 

D e t a i l s    o f    W a r    S e r v i c e

 

(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search)

 

 

September             Deployed with Flotilla in Home Fleet

                3rd          (Note: Other ships in Flotilla were HM Destroyers ELECTRA, ECLIPSE,

                                ENCOUNTER, ESCAPADE and ESCORT.)

 

October                  Home Fleet Flotilla deployment in continuation.

to November

 

December              Transferred to Western Approaches Command for convoy defence and

                                patrol in NW Approaches and North Sea.

 

1 9 4 0

 

January                  Convoy defence duties in continuation.

                21st         Hit by torpedo fired by U22 sank quickly in position 58.18N 05.25W

                                with loss of 189 lives. There were no survivors.

                                (Note: In 1942 the training ship was commissioned as a depot ship using

                                this name and resumed her earlier role in 1945 as WORCESTER.)

P o s t W a r N o t e s

 

This name was reintroduced in November 1955 when given to a Type 14 Frigate built by J S White at Cowes. That ship was sold for demolition in 1979.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS EXMOUTH

by Don Kindell

 

This convoy list has not been cross-checked with the text above

 

 

 

 

 

Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived

 

 

 

 

 

05/09/39

06/09/39

RED 1

11/09/39

27/09/39

27/09/39

27/09/39

BC 006/1

29/09/39

29/09/39

29/09/39

29/09/39

BC 005R

unknown

unknown

09/10/39

09/10/39

BC 010/1

11/10/39

11/10/39

12/10/39

12/10/39

BC 009R

14/10/39

14/10/39

16/10/39

16/10/39

BC 011/1

17/10/39

17/10/39

29/12/39

29/12/39

ON 006/1

01/01/40

01/01/40

01/01/40

01/01/40

HN 006

04/01/40

04/01/40

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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revised 29/7/11
further editing and formatting is required


 

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